Largemouth bass fishing on Marshall Pond in Hebron, Maine (July 18, 2015)

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General view of Marshall Pond

General view of the upper half of Marshall Pond looking north

Marshall Pond (a.k.a. Matthews Pond) is a 142-acre body of water located in the towns of Hebron and Oxford, Oxford County, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 11 D2&3). The pond is situated at the end of Marshall Pond Road, off Merrill Hill Road. Public access is available at an unimproved boat launch found right next to the cement dam at the end of Marshall Pond Road. This sandy launch can accommodate small trailered boats. A handful of cars can be parked on a small grassy clearing next to the launch. The pond is an impoundment of Dunham Brook which has its source at Hall Pond further upstream. Marshall Pond is another one of those gorgeous little gems that few people know about, even though it is located no more than a dozen miles west of the Lewiston-Auburn area. About two dozen houses are scattered along its shoreline. Most are discreetly tucked into the surrounding woods and are barely visible from the water. A number of unobtrusive docks jut into the pond, but none of them displays large power boats or jet skis, providing a sense of quietness and peace. The surrounding landscape is completely forested and green.

 

 

 

The largemouth bass in Marshall Pond are concentrated in the extensive weedy area where Dunham Brook enters the pond

The largemouth bass in Marshall Pond are concentrated in the extensive weedy area where Dunham Brook enters the pond

 

 

The surface water has the color of weak tea. The substrate is unusual for this type of water body because it consists mostly of gravel, cobble, and boulders! Bass-holding structure along the shoreline is quite limited to non-existent, except for the extensive shallow, weedy area at the opposite end where Dunham Brook enters the pond. Surprisingly, given the dense surrounding forest, little or no submerged wood is present along the shoreline to provide bass holding structure. The pond is relatively deep, with a maximum and average depth of 40 ft and 11 ft, respectively. The bass fishing rules fall under the General Law provisions, as follows: (a) open to bass fishing all year round; (b) bag limit of one bass with minimum length of 10” between April 1 and June 30, and October 1 and March 31; and (c) bag limit of three bass with minimum length of 10”, only one of which can exceed 14”, between July 1 and September 30. Click here for a depth map and more fisheries information. The text associated with the depth map was last updated in 1998 and does not mention the presence of largemouth bass in this pond. However, it states that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocked Hall Pond with largemouth bass and that some of those fish were suspected to have dropped down over time into Marshall Pond via Dunham Brook and establish themselves. That’s enough information for me to give this place a visit!

 

This big boy was one of three fish caught in three consecutive casts in the weedy shallows of Marshall Pond

This big boy was one of three fish caught in three consecutive casts in the weedy shallows of Marshall Pond

I arrive at the sandy boat launch by 12:30 pm. My departure earlier this morning was delayed on account of the rainy weather. The rain has stopped but it is still completely overcast and misty. A breeze also blows in from the south west. I’ll use it to help me push my canoe along the eastern shore of the pond towards the weedy area located about 1 mile further up. I’ll note here that a review of Google Maps in preparation for this trip showed a potential access point closer to the other end of the pond via Old County Road in Hebron. This rough forest road, which is located on land owned by Hebron Academy, was not posted when I accessed it from Route 119. However, a “Private Road” sign was displayed deeper into the woods, causing me to turn around and access the pond via the dam. As I paddle along the eastern shoreline, I notice the complete lack of bass holding structure. But I do cast my 5” soft stickbait at several promising spots and am rewarded with two bass bites but no landed fish. Both are hefty fish, which is promising. I switch to a white/yellow buzzbait when I reach the weedy area on the opposite side of the pond. This is definitely largemouth bass territory: shallow (< 5 ft deep) with a muddier bottom and choked with all kinds of aquatic weeds. It is clear that I’ve reached the sweet spot in this pond: I hook and land ten largemouth bass over the next hour and a half, and miss another half dozen fish. Four of those fish measure between 16” and 19”, and are well fed and heavy. At one point, I catch three bass in three consecutive casts! Marshall Pond is a definite keeper. It is pretty, peaceful, and lightly fished, and well worth a visit.

 

 

 

The results: I caught 10 largemouth bass (largest = 19”) in two hours of fishing.

 

Was the information in this blog useful? I invite you to share your thoughts and opinions. Also, feel free to discuss your fishing experiences at this location.

 

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